The Cummer Museum

I had a (very rare) night off a few weeks ago and was faced with the never-ending internal debate that comes with good old “nothing to do” territory: do I stay home and mindlessly watch Hulu for the millionth time in a row like the sloth I want so badly to be, or do I go out and explore something new in Jacksonville like all of the real humans do?

I chose to be a real human and decided to take advantage of the “free to the public” deal that Cummer Museum was offering that evening. I hadn’t been to a museum in years and found myself a little more excited about this than I felt I should be, considering I was going alone (I later realized that going to a museum alone is a much better experience than going with groups of people who want to insert their never ending, always vocal opinions onto every.piece.of.artwork).

I don’t proclaim to know much about art. My brain has a very selective memory, a memory that oft chooses to forget specific names, dates, and details surrounding pretty much everything (I will never be a contestant on Jeopardy, let’s put it that way). I tend to remember specific details about how something made me feel rather than the facts surrounding it which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a thing that can make me seem like a dolt when asked questions people generally answer with ease, such as, “Who’s your favorite artist?”, or, “What piece did you enjoy the most during your visit to ____ museum?” (insert blank stare here). But if I were asked how perusing all that Cummer Museum had to offer made me feel, I would gladly engage them with a delighted recount of my experience.

I felt at home there. Much like I do whenever I’m in a beautiful museum or an old bookstore or hiking trails on a mountain while taking pictures of a spectacular sunset. It’s a feeling of comfort and peace that I find so rare in a world full of stress and discontent (and traffic, I’m looking at you 295). Each section of the museum is dedicated to a different time period and has pictures so rich in history and color that you can’t help but feel sucked into whatever the artist was trying to communicate to their audience. Some pictures left me feeling uneasy, such as this haunting Norman Rockwell piece titled “Second Holiday” (special thanks to my camera for storing this information that I otherwise would have forgotten):

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Some pieces made me wish I could travel back in time just to see what all the fuss was about:

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Back when men greatly outnumbered women and competition was fierce. I’m rooting for the sullen looking violin player myself.

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And some left me feeling oh-so-inspired. Surprisingly enough, my favorite pieces in the museum were not paintings to be hung on walls, but rather, some of the most glorious, fall-out-your-chair-they’re-so-lovely porcelain dazzlers I’ve ever had the chance to lay my eyes on. Enjoy:

Meissen figurines and pieces are an interior designer to-be’s dream world, and I was loving every minute that I spent surrounded by these hand-painted beauties.

All in all, a wonderful couple of hours was spent at the Cummer Museum on that fateful evening that I fought the sloth within. Here’s to many more trips to come!

::And to any newbies: Just remember not to take pictures in the traveling exhibits no matter how badly you want to, trust me. I was approached within seconds of doing so by some formidable looking guards and for a second thought I might be going to museum jail if that’s a thing?::

 

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